Sutton Housing Partnership inundated with complaints as politicians hit the campaign trail

Councillor Tim Crowley is among those who have contacted SHP with complaints from neighbours

Councillor Tim Crowley is among those who have contacted SHP with complaints from neighbours

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A housing partnership has been so inundated with complaints from politicians on the campaign trail that it has had to change its procedures.

As prospective councillors and would-be members of the European Parliament have knocked on doors while the campaign for this week's elections, they have heard so many complaints from tenants that Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) has been overrun.

In response, SHP, which manages the council's housing stock, has been forced to refer all complaints from politicians to a separate department to handle the volume of calls.

Complaints have largely been from tenants who are awaiting repairs or improvements on their properties. Among them is one tenant who has been living with a leaking pipe that has been flooding her bathroom with sewage for more than a month.

When Councillor Tim Crowley took her complaint to SHP he was sent an email explaining that all complaints from MPs and councillors are to be directed to the chief executive's office.

The email continued: "This is not acceptable and I would like to apologise for this.

"I want to assure you that we are continuing to prioritise your enquiries to ensure both you and residents are confident that we are doing everything we can to deliver high levels of service and put things right quickly when this hasn’t been the case."

A spokesman for SHP said it has experienced a huge increase in complaints referred to it by councillors and prospective councillors in the run up to the elections but added that some of the complaints were not valid.

The spokesman added: "We have had an increase in volumes of councillor enquiries which is to be expected in the run up to an election.

"To respond to this we have put interim measures in place and we have received positive feedback from councillors about the change."

Comments (10)

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7:23am Thu 15 May 14

Bonnie Craven says...

We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier.

I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues.

It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice.

I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands.

Bonnie Craven
Labour candidate for Wandle Valley
We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier. I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues. It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice. I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands. Bonnie Craven Labour candidate for Wandle Valley Bonnie Craven
  • Score: -6

7:24am Thu 15 May 14

Binsanity says...

"The spokesman added: "We have had an increase in volumes of councillor enquiries which is to be expected in the run up to an election".
Is this not proof that unless a councillor or a prospective councillor needs your vote we are not being listened to. If our councillors were amoungst the community and a part of it they would not need to knock on doors every election time to know what's going on. One week to the elections and they are only now making themselves aware of these problems for their own end. Absolute hypocrisy and an insult to the residents of LBC.
"The spokesman added: "We have had an increase in volumes of councillor enquiries which is to be expected in the run up to an election". Is this not proof that unless a councillor or a prospective councillor needs your vote we are not being listened to. If our councillors were amoungst the community and a part of it they would not need to knock on doors every election time to know what's going on. One week to the elections and they are only now making themselves aware of these problems for their own end. Absolute hypocrisy and an insult to the residents of LBC. Binsanity
  • Score: 14

7:50am Thu 15 May 14

Binsanity says...

Apologies, should read LBS.
Apologies, should read LBS. Binsanity
  • Score: 4

9:14am Thu 15 May 14

Bunty123 says...

Well done to SHP for their efforts to ensure that all complaints are dealt with!
Well done to SHP for their efforts to ensure that all complaints are dealt with! Bunty123
  • Score: -5

10:09am Thu 15 May 14

StewartMackayWP says...

SHP is an arms length management organisation used to speaking in management lengthy speak for the benefit managers employed there. I am of the opinion that Sutton Council needs to bring this back under the housing fold. Where officers under the guidance of elected Councillors have direct control. Elected Councils make for far better landlords than management organisations, in my experience.

Stewart Mackay
Conservative Candidate Worcester Park.
SHP is an arms length management organisation used to speaking in management lengthy speak for the benefit managers employed there. I am of the opinion that Sutton Council needs to bring this back under the housing fold. Where officers under the guidance of elected Councillors have direct control. Elected Councils make for far better landlords than management organisations, in my experience. Stewart Mackay Conservative Candidate Worcester Park. StewartMackayWP
  • Score: 11

1:51pm Thu 15 May 14

D Hoole says...

' Councillor Crowley... Was sent an email explaining that all complaints from MPs and councillors are to be directed to the Chief Executive's office '. So clearly, after all these years, the Chief Andrew Taylor has only just realised that his organisation is an abysmal pile of junk. Our Lib Dem councillor Peter Fosdyke did help us get our complaints across although the service remains atrocious. Any valid complaint sent through a councillor which hasn't got action does seem like a failure by that councillor, but it's SHP which failed first and often.
I agree with those above : why aren't we listened to as residents? When will housing be taken away from this failed organisation?
' Councillor Crowley... Was sent an email explaining that all complaints from MPs and councillors are to be directed to the Chief Executive's office '. So clearly, after all these years, the Chief Andrew Taylor has only just realised that his organisation is an abysmal pile of junk. Our Lib Dem councillor Peter Fosdyke did help us get our complaints across although the service remains atrocious. Any valid complaint sent through a councillor which hasn't got action does seem like a failure by that councillor, but it's SHP which failed first and often. I agree with those above : why aren't we listened to as residents? When will housing be taken away from this failed organisation? D Hoole
  • Score: 3

1:52pm Thu 15 May 14

LiberalsOut says...

Bonnie Craven wrote:
We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier.

I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues.

It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice.

I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands.

Bonnie Craven
Labour candidate for Wandle Valley
Whilst I agree with your comments voting in a Labour Council or Government can never be a good thing - slightly better than a Lib Dem one but not much
Are there not rules about campaigning via the media during an Election period or is that just the General Election
[quote][p][bold]Bonnie Craven[/bold] wrote: We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier. I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues. It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice. I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands. Bonnie Craven Labour candidate for Wandle Valley[/p][/quote]Whilst I agree with your comments voting in a Labour Council or Government can never be a good thing - slightly better than a Lib Dem one but not much Are there not rules about campaigning via the media during an Election period or is that just the General Election LiberalsOut
  • Score: 5

2:50pm Thu 15 May 14

Crease2000 says...

Why are political parties suddenly so vocal? Is there an election of some sort coming up?
Why are political parties suddenly so vocal? Is there an election of some sort coming up? Crease2000
  • Score: 12

5:06pm Thu 15 May 14

Binsanity says...

Bonnie Craven wrote:
We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier.

I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues.

It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice.

I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands.

Bonnie Craven
Labour candidate for Wandle Valley
I totally agree with "LiberalsOut" stating that the Guardian should not be a platform for political gain.
Bonnie Craven, as stated in her comment " Labour candidate for Wandle Valley" has however deemed it necessary to use it as such. It needs to be addressed that three times she makes reference to "our residents" whilst refering to Wandle Valley and St Helier, see above. According to the nominated candidates ward list (on public record and display) Bonnie Craven lives in North Cheam, so how on earth are we YOUR residents.
How can anyone represent a ward and understand it fully when not living in it 24/7. Let's concentrate on local candidates from the local community who are not playing lip service outside their own ball park purely to further their own gains.
[quote][p][bold]Bonnie Craven[/bold] wrote: We have been raising an enormous number of complaints from residents, quite a few of whom havr literally had water running down their inside walls, leaving mould and lifting wallpaper. The residents tell us they have been complaining to their councillors and Mullally for months and months. We wonder why so many of our residents have not been looked after by the current Lib Dem councillors in Wandle Vally and St Helier. I am glad that (belatedly) Sutton Housing Partnership are taking action. I suppose at least some people are getting jobs. But it is unacceptable that so many of our residents have had to live in houses with serious problems. Many of the people we have spoken to are elderly and have health issues. It's about time our residents were listened to and someone is giving them a voice. I hope the people of Sutton elect Labour councillors next week. The Lib Dems have been being paid to do a job and they have been sitting on their hands. Bonnie Craven Labour candidate for Wandle Valley[/p][/quote]I totally agree with "LiberalsOut" stating that the Guardian should not be a platform for political gain. Bonnie Craven, as stated in her comment " Labour candidate for Wandle Valley" has however deemed it necessary to use it as such. It needs to be addressed that three times she makes reference to "our residents" whilst refering to Wandle Valley and St Helier, see above. According to the nominated candidates ward list (on public record and display) Bonnie Craven lives in North Cheam, so how on earth are we YOUR residents. How can anyone represent a ward and understand it fully when not living in it 24/7. Let's concentrate on local candidates from the local community who are not playing lip service outside their own ball park purely to further their own gains. Binsanity
  • Score: 10

12:45pm Fri 16 May 14

D Hoole says...

Bringing the focus back to how terrible SHP is, does anyone have a direct email address or phone number for Andrew Taylor, the Chief Executive? I was unable to find these before, and got the feeling that either he didn't want these to be available, or his staff didn't, so they could keep him in the dark.
Bringing the focus back to how terrible SHP is, does anyone have a direct email address or phone number for Andrew Taylor, the Chief Executive? I was unable to find these before, and got the feeling that either he didn't want these to be available, or his staff didn't, so they could keep him in the dark. D Hoole
  • Score: 3

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